Beaver Divide

Beaver Divide (HM1ZZV)

Location: Montpelier, ID 83254 Caribou County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 29.31', W 111° 9.18'

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The Summit

To load their wagons with salt from the salt springs on Crow Creek, Mormon settlers of Bear Lake Valley followed the Native American Indian trail over this pass about 1865.
In 1868, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Apostle Charles C Rich sent Edward Homer and company to explore a possible wagon route all the way down Crow Creek to the Salt River. With the homestead act of 1862 and the enthusiastic report by Homer's Company, the wheels of progress start turning. In July 1879, William Henry Harrison Heap pioneered the first wagon train with 14 wagons and stock over this Beaver Divide and down the lower Crow Creek drainage to the Salt River Valley. The party of 27 men, women and children traveled north to Tin Cup Creek just below the Cariboo Mountain Mining District, and established the first settlement in what Apostle Moses Thatcher called the "Star Of All Valleys," now known as Star Valley, WY.  By November that year, Heap's company had made three more trips to Montpelier, ID for supplies.  When the last supply wagons bogged down in the mud of Beaver Canyon two miles south of here, the freighters rode their teams on to Tin Cup leaving their winters grub behind.  Before spring Albert Rolph, Jay Rolph, John Hill, and William Heap snow shoed 75 miles to Beaver Canyon and back with the flour from their marooned
wagons to save the starving settlement. Over the next 50 years, the Crow Creek Freight Road was improved, mostly by the freighter who used it and businesses that relied on it. The success of the Bear Lake Valley and Star Valley depended on the road that passed over the divide between them. Passage over the route has been described as steep and at times hazardous. Snow would be as deep as six-feet on the summit. By spring, the packed snow road became a three foot high rail of ice.  Horses had to learn where to place their hoofs to stay on the track so the load would not cut off.  When the horse drawn sleigh slid off, help from a fellow traveler was always appreciated to get back on track.  High snow drifts in the winter and the mud in Beaver Canyon always challenged the best teamsters.  A shovel was used a lot to handle the snow.  To avoid that mud in Beaver, at Squaw Hollow a teamster could turn up the Hogs Back, (to the) west with the hope of surviving the Devils Dive right down to the Halfway House.
Year Placed2010
Placed ByStar Valley Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, July 21st, 2017 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 487426 N 4704027
Decimal Degrees42.48850000, -111.15300000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 29.31', W 111° 9.18'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 29' 18.6" N, 111° 9' 10.8" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)208
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Forest Rd 111, Montpelier ID 83254, US
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